Prince is the Artist: a virtuoso, a maverick, a symbol. The Purple One’s genius has transformed the man into a musical hero and a legendary performer. If Prince is a somewhat inscrutable artist today, ensconced in Paisley Park, the Twin Cities provided a palpable point of origin for the myth, the hometown scene of a young Prince Rogers Nelson.
Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound is the 50th proper release by Numero Group, the historically curious, keen-eyed, crate digging wunder-label. This idea of a “Minneapolis Sound” is inextricably linked to Prince, and the compilation’s evocative title means the Purple One will inevitably be the point of entry into these songs. However, the late ’70s/early ’80s funk scene in Minneapolis and St. Paul is actually a great match for the Numero treatment–the label’s best releases involve scrutinizing an overlooked local history and hanging a narrative around forgotten music. Prince’s meteoric ascent into purpled high fantasy fogged up what was going on in the dove’s nest, but his influence insures the Minneapolis sound will never be forgotten. We’re talking about 1999 and Control at the most mainstream, which just means the stakes are extra high for Numero as revisionist historians–a fitting challenge for the label’s 50th release.